When you arrive at your workplace, do you ever expect to suffer any type of harm? (If your answer is yes, there might be severe issues in your workplace.) In general, the place of work is a relatively safe place. Although there could be dangerous equipment, a risky environment, or hazardous situations, there is likely a protocol in place designed to keep all employees safe.
However, accidents happen. Even the workplace with the strictest safety protocol could be the scene of an unfortunate accident. Without a doubt, all workplace accidents are different and could have different effects. While some accidents could result in only minor injuries, such as sprains, other accidents could result in severe injuries, such as amputations. Some workplace accidents could even result in death.
“Countless employees suffer accidents in their place of work every day – regardless of any safety standards enforced by the employer,” states Farid Yaghoubtil, a wrongful termination lawyer at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group. “It does not matter what employers do to prevent accidents and promote employee safety. Accidents can happen at any time. Unfortunately, many of the employees who suffer these accidents do not take them as seriously as they should. This means that they often fail to make workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, they do not receive any sort of benefits for their injuries during the time that they are unable to continue working.”
Below, you will find a list of 4 of the most common workplace accidents along with brief descriptions:
- Being struck by falling objects: objects fall; it is just a thing that happens. Even the slightest misplacement or imbalance could cause an object to fall. Accidents caused by falling objects are common in a number of work environments – especially those who store items in elevated areas. Example: workers at a warehouse-style store routinely store large items on elevated shelves. These large items are usually packed onto a pallet and lifted to the elevated shelves with a forklift. One day, employees unknowingly overload an elevated shelf. Within a few hours of storing the product, the shelf collapses, causing objects to fall from above onto the employees below.
- Slip and falls/Trip and falls: slip/trip and falls occur when there are hazards on the floor, such as spills, leaks, misplaced mats, torn carpets, that could cause anyone who walks by to slip/trip and fall. Slip/trip and fall accidents are easily some of the most common accidents that occur in the workplace due to their simple causes. Example: workers at a warehouse routinely go up and down a small ramp that facilitates moving a cart throughout the workplace. One day, there is a spill on the ramp – making it slippery. Because the employee is pushing a cart down the ramp, he cannot see the spill. He slips, falls, and suffers a number of injuries.
- Repetitive motions: injuries caused by repetitive motions occur when there is no variation in the way that someone is doing something, such as using a mouse, typing, turning, or using a scanner, for example. The harm caused by repetitive motions results from long-term movement. Example: a worker at a delivery facility has to constantly scan items to prepare packages sent out to customers. She uses her right hand to hold on to the scanner and scan the items. After working in the same position for years, she begins feeling unbearable pain in her wrist, a pain that is confirmed to be carpel tunnel caused by a repetitive motion.
- Auto accidents: auto accidents are common in workplaces that require employees to constantly travel, such as trucking companies, delivery companies, and any other companies that provide at-home services, for example. Auto accidents can vary is severity and could even be fatal. Example: a man works as a delivery driver for a well-known delivery service. He is driving for the majority of his scheduled shift. One day, he is involved in an auto accident while on his delivery route. He suffers permanent injuries that will likely prevent him from ever being to drive again.
As you could see, the types of workplace accidents exemplified above are on different points of the spectrum. However, all the workplace accidents mentioned above could be grounds to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. If you ever suffer an accident in your workplace, do not hesitate to take action – as receiving workers’ compensation benefits could be the only way you and your family could stay afloat while you are unable to work.